Day: March 4, 2016

Twitter’s Travails

Julianne Smolinksi writing for New York Magazine on the problems with Twitter (emphasis mine):

Let me try to explain how I see it. Twitter is like a beloved public park that used to be nice, but now has a rusty jungle gym, dozens of really persistent masturbators, and a nighttime bat problem. Eventually the Parks Department might rip up the jungle gym, and make some noise about fixing the other problems, because that’s what invisible administrators like Twitter staff and municipal recreation departments tend to do. But if the perverts and the bats got to be bad enough with no recourse, you’d probably just eventually stop going.

(Additionally frustrating is that everybody is complaining about the safety issues at the park, and instead of addressing them, the city installs a crazy new slide. What? Nobody was calling for that. What about the perverts? What about the bats?)

Twitter has over two thousand engineers working for them (source: International Business Times and yet the service is still as arcane as it has ever been to use and find an audience. The number of my college friends who use the service on a regular basis is in the single digits, while many others have created accounts but haven’t touched them in the last three years. It’s a social service that provides an important need, and it sucks to see it stagnate like this.

Twitter’s Moments help people better consume the data coming through the service, but it doesn’t help alleviate the feeling that tweeting is like yelling in a deserted forest: You’re not sure if anyone can hear you, and even if there are, you’re not sure if they can hear you anyway.